In this post I’m sharing some of my favorite ideas for self care. Read on to find something that may work for you.
Self-care has been such a big part of my life right now with the coronavirus and Covid-19 becoming such a big part of everyone’s life. It’s very scary to think about what’s happening in the world right now and how uncertain the future is. It’s added a lot to everyone’s plates between getting let go, reduced hours at work, and working from home. Add on top of that social distancing, and all the hard things that that entails and I think it’s safe to say that everyone’s stress and anxiety levels are a lot higher than usual.
Self-care is something that I’ve been doing a lot more of the last month or so. It’s so important to take care of our mental health when there’s so much to worry about. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ideas for self-care in the hopes that one or two may work for you too.
I’ve been doing my workouts at home instead of at the gym these days. Being able to be active, get my body moving, and literally workout the stress and anxiety I’m feeling these days has been so good for my well-being. Workouts have always been a big stress reliever for me and it’s even more true now that my stress levels have been up for the last few weeks.
My workouts have definitely changed since being at home – I can’t take a Group Power class, I don’t have an elliptical (that’s my cardio of choice), and I can’t go to my favorite yoga studio. But I’ve found things that work and are giving me the same stress relieving benefits.
I’ve been really enjoying online barre classes since my gym has closed. I haven’t done a barre class in a really long time, but it’s been a great way to keep active when the gym isn’t available. Wheat I love about barre is that you don’t need a lot of equipment. I use a pair of 2 pound dumbbells, but you can easily swap them out for a couple cans. I’ve also been using a ball – this is the one (affiliate link) that I have – though I wouldn’t say that it’s a necessary thing to get in a great workout.
Although I don’t have an elliptical at home, I’m very lucky to have a treadmill. So when I’m craving some cardio I hop on the treadmill to get in a few miles. One perk of using the treadmill at home instead of the elliptical at the gym is that I can watch Netflix on the TV.
While my favorite yoga studios aren’t open right now, they’ve been able to move online so that I’m still able to practice with my favorite teachers and experience the community in a different way. There’s something that’s so reassuring about hearing my yoga teachers guide me through a class even though we’re not in the same room together. It’s definitely different than how it was a few months ago, but there’s also so much that’s the same and that feels very comforting right now.
I want to add one last thing to this section: if workouts aren’t something that helps you and instead adds one more thing to your to do list or busy schedule, don’t workout. The whole point of this post is to share the things that have been helpful to me that might also work for you. But if they don’t, use other self-care activities that are better for you. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on social media right now to do all the things, get in workouts, and still eat exactly how you were before. But that’s not likely to happen. We’re all scared and stressed and anxious about the future. What we were able to do before isn’t going to be able to happen now.
What would I do without meditation right now? I’m so grateful that I had some experience with it before the pandemic hit, because some nights (most nights?) it’s hard to get to sleep without it. It feels like as soon as my head hits my pillow my mind has a hard time shutting down and instead starts thinking about all the things that could happen in the future and all the terrible things that could happen. Needless to say that’s not very conducive to sleep.
I think that mediation is one of those things that a lot of people think of when they are trying to come up with ideas for self-care. I know that I’ve always associated it with self-care and knew that it was a good thing. Of course it wasn’t until I actually started doing it that I realized how much it actually helped me.
I’ve found that mediation has been the perfect thing to keep my mind occupied enough to keep the worrying at bay while also allowing myself the opportunity to doze off to sleep. It’s a fine line, but one that I’ve managed to walk.
Brand new to meditation? I highly recommend trying out the Headspace App. It’s not woo woo at all and it really was a great introduction to meditation for me. They have 10 meditations that you can do for free, and that’s what I’ve been using for the last few months. Since the pandemic started they’ve also opened up a few additional meditations for free, so be sure to check those ones out as well. I wrote a post all about using Headspace to meditate. You can find it here.
I’ve also been using the Insight Timer app as well. There are a ton of free meditations on it, but the trade off is that they are of varying quality. Most have been great, but there have been a few that I’ve tried that ended up being distracting because of their poor quality. If you enjoy yoga nidra they have a whole section of them, just type “yoga nidra” into the search and scroll about halfway down until you come to the topics and tap on yoga nidra. I really enjoy the ones from Jennifer Piercy and Tanis Fishman. Jennifer’s and generally a bit shorter at 20 to 30 minutes, while Tanis’ are longer and clock in at about an hour. Tanis was actually one of my instructors when I was doing my yoga teacher training and her yoga nidras were always such a treat when we did them.
I’ve always been a big reader and that hasn’t changed with what’s going on in the world right now. Reading has always been one of my top ideas for self-care before I even knew what self-care was as a kid. Sometimes I just need a bit of a break from everything that’s going on and reading is the perfect thing for that.
Scribd is currently offering a 30 day trial subscription that I’ve taken advantage of. They don’t require you to put in a credit card number so you don’t have to worry about remembering to cancel if you don’t want to continue after the trial. In addition to ebooks they also have ebooks and magazines. I’m currently reading The Alice Network and I’ve really been enjoying it.
If the library in your city or town offers the Libby app, that’s also a great place to get access to ebooks and audiobooks. I’ve been using it for a year or two already and really love it. I can download books to my phone so that I can read them when I’m not on a wifi network and I don’t have to worry about going over my date for the month. I’ve listened to audiobooks when on a road trip and it really helped the time in the car go by quicker.
I’ve kept journals on and off since I was a kid. Lately being able to write down my thoughts and feelings has been really helpful with all of the uncertainty in the world right now. There’s something about getting all of that stuff out of my head and down onto the paper that helps. If you haven’t tried journaling in awhile give it another try to see if it helps at all.
If writing seems daunting, one thing that I like to do if get down a few things that I’m grateful for. Despite how much terrible stuff is happening right now, I’m always able to think of a few things that I’m grateful for. They might be as simple as having warm blankets to sleep under or being able to text with a friend, but I’m always able to find things that I’m thankful for.
If a pen and notebook aren’t your thing then use the notepad app on your phone. There’s even journaling apps available to download. There’s a way to make journaling yours – it doesn’t have to look like what I do.
What are some of your favorite ideas for self-care? Share about it in the comments below. I’d love to hear about it.
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